SPRING 2001 VOL. 5, NO. 4

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Ann Brown, Chairman Mary Sheila Gall, Commissioner Thomas H. Moore, Commissioner

Virtual Children
The U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently received several technological models designed to help test consumer products for safety, especially products intended for children. RAM Consulting and McDonald’s Corporation provided these technologies (called the Virtual Child, Infant Suffocation, and Infant Strangulation models) to CPSC. CPSC staff will continue to use its scientific expertise to evaluate the likelihood and severity of an injury posed by a particular product. The staff is exploring if and how the technology can supplement its scientific expertise. For the present, the results from using the technology will not serve as the basis for determining whether a product poses a hazard. The Consumer Product Safety Review interviewed Dr. Jason R. Goldsmith, a physiologist in CPSC’s Directorate for Health Sciences, who is familiar with these new technologies.

What is the purpose of the Virtual Child? What does it look like? How does it work?
The Virtual Child is a computer model of a child’s head and airways, which potentially can be used to determine whether a product represents a choking hazard (Figure 1, page 2). The model was constructed from Computed Tomography scans of a 10-month-old child who was undergoing a surgical procedure. Using an engineering program called Autocad, computer representations of products can be created and introduced into the Virtual Child to determine whether the product can block the virtual child’s airways. Different virtual cameras and viewing angles allow for the visualization of various interactions between the product and virtual tissues, such as the mouth and throat.

Virtual Children................1 Safer Bleachers................3 MECAP News..................6 CPSC Report Form..........9 CPSC Recalls.................10

What is the purpose of the Infant Strangulation Model? What does it look like? How does it work?
The Infant Strangulation Model can potentially be used to assess the strangulation hazard associated with certain products, such as drawstrings and window cord blinds (Figure 2, page 2). This model consists of a very real-looking mannequin that approximates the size and weight of a 17-month-old child. This model has sensors in the neck that can measure the pressure that various objects can apply to the airway and/or blood vessels located in the neck. In theory, by comparing these pressure readings to those obtained from children undergoing surgical procedures, the relative strangulation risk of a particular product can be deduced. Continued on page 2

Consumer Product Safety Review Spring 2001

What is the purpose of the Infant Suffocation Model? What does it look like? How does it work?
The Infant Suffocation Model potentially can be used to assess products that might obstruct airflow by blocking the nose and mouth (e.g., plastic bags). The model consists of a very real-looking mannequin that approximates the size and weight of a 10-month-old child (Figure 3). The head and face are made of materials that feel like real flesh. The mannequin’s nose and mouth lead to mechanical lungs that are mounted externally on an equipment rack. The equipment rack also contains the “brain” for the mannequin. It tells the mannequin how often to breathe and how much air to take in with each breath. The number of breaths and volume of air are based on the normal rates and volumes of air for children as determined in clinical settings. Simultaneously, the “brain” also measures the amount of resistance to airflow within the mannequin’s airways. When the airways are partially or completely blocked by a product, a pressure change can be observed on the equipment rack’s computer display. Depending on the magnitude of the change, this can signify a hazardous condition.

How and why were these models developed?
These models were designed by RAM Consulting in conjunction with medical experts with the goal of making products safer. Their objective was both to improve the methods currently in use to evaluate products and to design safety into new products.

Top Figure 1: Virtual Child Middle Figure 2: Strangulation Model Bottom Figure 3: Suffocation Model

What makes this new testing equipment unique?
Each model represents very new technology that has been designed to address injury mechanisms that are responsible for childhood deaths. Each piece of equipment that has been provided to CPSC is essentially the twin of another found at RAM Consulting. Besides these two copies, no one else in the world has this technology.

What’s been the reaction of CPSC staff and others who have seen or used this equipment?
Generally, everyone who has seen this equipment has Continued on bottom of page 5


Consumer Product Safety Review Spring 2001

Safer Bleachers
CPSC recently issued safety guidelines for retrofitting bleachers to prevent people, especially children, from falling off them. The guidelines are intended to be used by anyone concerned with bleacher safety – including facility owners and operators, school officials, parks and recreation personnel, manufacturers, designers, inspectors, and regulatory officials. CPSC sponsored a national Roundtable on the Safety of Bleachers and Grandstands in 1999. The meeting, attended by consumers, industry, and government representatives, was convened after two children had died and five children were severely injured in bleacher falls in 1998 and 1999. The CPSC guidelines were developed, in part, as a result of recommendations made at that meeting. Bleachers are structures that provide tiered or stepped seating, generally without backrests (Figure 4). They come in various configurations and sizes, including: permanent/ stationary, portable/movable, telescopic/folding, and temporary (for specific events, such as circuses, golf tournaments, and parades). The CPSC guidelines apply to all four categories of bleachers.

Bleacher Hazards
Bleachers can pose a number of hazards. For example, falls from bleachers can occur when guardrails are missing from the backs or open sides of the bleachers. Injuries can occur when the openings between components in the seats and guardrails are big enough to permit a person to fall through them. Injuries from falls on bleachers also can occur when there are missing or inadequate bleacher components. In addition, bleachers can collapse if they are not installed or operated properly.

Bleacher-Associated Deaths and Injuries
At the time the bleacher safety guidelines were published, the CPSC was aware of 10 deaths that involved falls from bleachers from 1980 through 1999. Of these deaths, four involved children under 15. Two deaths occurred in 1999. In one case, a 6 year-old fell from the bleachers through a 13inch opening between the footboard and seatboard. In the other incident, a 3 year-old fell through an opening in the guardrail. From 1991 through 1999, an estimated annual average of 19,100 people were treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms for bleacher-related injuries. In 1999, there were an estimated 22,100 bleacher-related injuries. Approximately 6,100 of these injuries were the result of a person falling from, or through, bleachers onto the surface below. Approximately 4,910 of these falls involved children under 15.

Figure 4

Prevention of Falls From Bleachers
Many bleachers in facilities today pose a fall hazard, especially to children. This is because, in part, many bleachers were built and installed when building codes did not require guardrails and allowed openings big enough for children to fall through them. When a jurisdiction adopts a new building code, existing bleachers are not typically required to comply because most codes do not have retroactive provisions for existing structures. The CPSC guidelines address guardrails and openings in the bleacher components. For example, to prevent falls, children should not be able to pass under or through the components of a guardrail. Guardrails also Continued on page 4

Consumer Product Safety Review Spring 2001

should be designed so they do not encourage young children to climb on them. To prevent falls through bleacher components (such as the footboard, seatboard, and riser) that are a certain height above the ground, the openings should prevent passage of a 4-inch sphere. This opening recommendation is based on anthropometric data showing that 95% of children 4 months and older would be prevented from completely passing through a 4-inch opening.

Prevention of Falls On Bleachers
Prevention of falls on bleachers also should not be ignored when considering retrofitting. Falls on bleachers are likely to occur when there are missing or inadequate components that assist in access and egress, such as aisles, handrails, and non-skid surfaces. Many older bleachers do not have these safety features.

Summary of Retrofit Recommendations
s Guardrails should be present on the backs and portions of the open ends of bleachers where the footboard, seatboard, or aisle is 30 inches or more above the floor or ground below. Bleachers with the top row nominally 30 inches above the ground may be exempt from this recommendation. s The top surface of the guardrail should be at least 42 inches above the leading edge of the footboard, seatboard, or aisle, whichever is adjacent. s When bleachers are used adjacent to a wall that is at least as high as the recommended guardrail height, the guardrail is not needed if a 4-inch diameter sphere fails to pass between the bleachers and the wall. s Any opening between components of the guardrail or under the guardrail should prevent passage of a 4-inch sphere. s Any opening between the components in the seating, such as between the footboard, seatboard, and riser, should prevent passage of a 4inch diameter sphere where the footboard is 30 inches or more above the ground and where the opening would permit a fall of 30 inches or more. s The preferable guardrail design uses only vertical members as in-fill between the top and bottom rails. If there are openings in the in-fill that could provide a foothold for climbing, the widest measurement of the opening where the foot could rest should be limited to a maximum of 1.75 inches. Opening patterns that provide a ladder effect should be avoided. If chain link fencing is used on guardrails, it should have a mesh size of 1.25-inch square or less. s Aisles, handrails, non-skid surfaces, and other items that assist in access and egress on bleachers should be incorporated into any retrofit project where feasible. s The option of replacing bleachers as opposed to retrofitting should be considered. s Materials and methods used for retrofitting should prevent the introduction of new hazards, such as bleacher tipover, bleacher collapse, guardrail collapse, and contact or tripping hazards. s Bleachers should be thoroughly inspected at least quarterly by trained personnel and problems corrected immediately. Records of these actions should be retained. s A licensed professional engineer, registered architect, or company that is qualified to provide bleacher products and services should inspect the bleachers at least every two years and provide a written certification that the bleachers are fit for use. s Records of all incidents and injuries should be retained.


Consumer Product Safety Review Spring 2001

Licensed professionals or qualified bleacher firms should know how to reduce the hazard of falls on bleachers. Local building officials also should know about safety features for bleachers in the governing building codes.

ping hazards. For example, the retrofit should not have sharp points or edges, such as protruding bolt ends or unfinished edges on aluminum extrusions.

Retrofitting or Replacing Bleachers
In addition to following these guidelines for bleacher safety, other methods proposed by professional engineers, registered architects, or qualified bleacher product and service firms may perform equally as well. Before implementing any retrofit, however, CPSC recommends consulting with local building officials to determine if a permit is required. If so, many jurisdictions require that the applicant obtain the services of a licensed design professional and submit engineering drawings before a permit is issued. The option of replacing bleachers – as opposed to retrofitting them – also should be considered. — Janet Buyer, Directorate for Engineering Sciences

Ensuring Safe Retrofits
Because the construction and setting of bleachers vary greatly, providing specific retrofit solutions in the guidelines for all applications is not feasible. The current structure and condition of the bleachers, as well as their environment, will dictate the appropriate materials and methods to be used for the retrofit. Implementing retrofits, however, should not introduce new hazards. This includes possible tipover or collapse of bleachers because of improper structural loading of the retrofit hardware onto the bleachers. Additional support structures or ground anchoring of the bleachers may be needed. Tipovers also can result from additional wind loading on retrofitted portable and temporary bleachers that are outdoors. In this case, semi-permanent anchors for additional stability should be incorporated into the retrofit design. In addition, poorly-retrofitted guardrails that do not accommodate the loading from people sitting and leaning on them can fail, creating other fall hazards. Retrofits also should not introduce contact or trip-

For More Information For a copy of the complete report, Guidelines for Retrofitting Bleachers, visit

Virtual Children continued from page 2
been very excited by it. However, while this new technology has interesting potential, it is important to realize that the equipment is still evolving, and some of it is at the earliest stages of development. els cannot be used without human judgment and expertise. Each model must be used only in conjunction with, not in place of, the physiological and anatomical knowledge that CPSC staff currently provides in making assessments of product safety.

What are the limitations of the equipment? How will it supplement human judgment in assessing hazards?
None of these models can completely replicate the many intricacies of a living, breathing human being, and therefore, there are limitations associated with each of the pieces of equipment. For example, the Virtual Child is a static representation of a child’s mouth and airways. It presently does not have tissues that move as they normally do during a swallow, or deform as they might when a product presses against them. Thus, these mod-

Can the equipment be used immediately by CPSC to evaluate products for safety?
We have just begun the process of familiarizing ourselves with the technology, its limitations, and its applicability to the work we do at CPSC. However, we are looking forward to exploring these issues in a more comprehensive manner in the near future.


Consumer Product Safety Review Spring 2001

Medical Examiners and Coroners Alert Project and Emergency Physicians Reporting System The MECAP-EPRS Project is designed to collect timely information on deaths and injuries involving consumer products. Please contact us whenever you encounter a death or situation that you believe should be considered during a safety evaluation of a product. To report a case or ask for information about MECAP, please call our toll-free number, 1-800-638-8095, or our toll-free fax number, 1-800-809-0924, or send a message via Internet to AMCDONAL@CPSC.GOV.

During the months of November and December of 2000, and January 2001, 954 cases were reported to CPSC. Included here are samples of cases to illustrate the type and nature of the reported incidents.

ASPHYXIATIONS/ SUFFOCATIONS *A female, 4, was watching a videotape on a television alone in her bedroom. The television was inside a lightweight, six-foot-high entertainment center. She was later found unresponsive on her back with the entertainment center on top of her. The entertainment center also had fallen two weeks prior to the fatal incident. On that occasion, the victim had stood on a bed and knocked the entertainment center over while reaching for something on top of it. The cause of death was mechanical positional asphyxia. (Michael S. Carona, SheriffCoroner, Orange County, Santa Ana, CA) *A male, 59, was found dead, suspended in a tree in the safety harness of a tree stand about 13 feet above the ground. The portable tree stand had collapsed and was lying at the base of the tree. The cause of death was asphyxia secondary to manual compression of the chest. (Wendy S. Hastings, Coroner, Sullivan County, Laporte, PA)

A female, 12 days old, was sleeping in her mother’s arms on a sofa. The mother fell asleep. When she awoke, she found the child unresponsive with her face against the sofa. The cause of death was mechanical asphyxia. (Jeffery Jentzen, M.D., Medical Examiner, Milwaukee County, Milwaukee, WI) *A male, 3 months, was laid down on his back to sleep in a playpen in his babysitter’s house. The child was later found unresponsive with his face between a mattress and the edge of the playpen. The cause of death was positional asphyxia. (Dr. Sara H. Irrgang, Associate Medical Examiner, District Nine, Medical Examiner’s Office, Orlando, Florida)

CARBON MONOXIDE POISONINGS *A male, 66, was found dead inside his garage. A generator that had run out of gas with its switch in the “on” position was also in the garage. The cause of death was carbon monoxide poisoning. (Adrian C. Moorman, Coroner, San Mateo County, Redwood City, CA) *A male, 71, was found unconscious by firemen in his residence that was on fire. He died three days later at a hospital. A malfunctioning portable fan started the fire. The cause of death was carbon monoxide intoxication. (Edmund R. Donoghue, M.D., Chief Medical Examiner, Cook County, Chicago, IL)

*Indicates cases selected for CPSC follow-up investigations. Cases reported but not selected for follow-up also are important to CPSC. Every MECAP report is included in CPSC’s injury data base and will be used to assess the hazards associated with consumer products.

*A female, 2 months, was put to bed on her stomach with her head to the side of an adult-sized pillow. Her mother found the victim unresponsive with her head in the pillow. The cause of death was asphyxia. (Kathryn Bob for Kanthi Von Guenthner, M.D., Chief Medical Examiner, The City and County of Honolulu, HI)


Consumer Product Safety Review Spring 2001

A male, 36, was working on a selfpropelled snowblower in a garage attached to his home. He was later found unresponsive in the smoky garage with the snowblower’s ignition in the “on” position and its gas tank empty. The cause of death was carbon monoxide toxicity. (Triena Harper, Chief Deputy Coroner, Jefferson County, Golden, CO) *Two males, 42 and 43, were sleeping in a hunting cabin heated with an unventilated portable propane heater. A friend found them dead the next day with the heater still on. The cause of death was carbon monoxide poisoning. (Carol Koop for M. B. McGee, M.D., Medical Examiner, Ramsey County, St. Paul, MN)

MECAP COMMENDATION Bradley J. Lewis, M.D., Coroner, Franklin County, Columbus, Ohio, has been selected to receive CPSC’s MECAP Commendation. This award recognizes outstanding contributions to CPSC’s Medical Examiners and Coroners Alert Project (MECAP), including initiating innovative MECAP reporting techniques. In most cases, MECAP reports are made by the coroner’s staff, medical examiner’s staff or by CPSC personnel visiting offices to review records. Dr. Lewis has implemented a computerized reporting and data system in the Franklin County Coroner’s Office. He has permitted CPSC to take full advantage of the information in the system by giving the Columbus, Ohio CPSC investigator remote computer access to the Coroner’s database. This permits the CPSC investigator to accomplish record review from her home telecommuting office via computer and the Internet. The result has been timely reporting with far less effort on the part of both the Coroner’s and CPSC staffs. Dr. Lewis is a graduate of the Ohio State University and the Ohio State University College of Medicine. He served both residency and internship in Family Practice at Mt.

Bradley J. Lewis, M.D.

DROWNINGS A male, 11 months, was found floating facedown and unresponsive in a residential swimming pool. The child gained access to the pool through a sliding glass door that was left open because the lock was broken. The cause of death was drowning. (Lance Davis, M.D., Medical Examiner, District 17, Broward County, Fort Lauderdale, FL) *A male, 5, was found floating face down and unresponsive in a public swimming pool while on a school outing with other children. The child was wearing a nylon flotation belt with three rubber foam blocks that were designed for beginning swimmers. The cause of death was drowning. (Rodney Bryan for Anthony Clark, M.D., Medical Examiner, Southwest Regional Medical Examiner’s Office, Colquitt County, Moultrie, GA) Continued on page 8

Carmel Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio. He is certified by the American Board of Family Practice. Dr. Lewis is a Family Practice physician in Lancaster, Ohio. Additionally, he is an Assistant Professor with the Department of Family Practice at the Ohio State University College of Medicine. Dr. Lewis is on the Board of Trustees of the Columbus State Community College and on the Board of Directors of the Maryhaven Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Program.


Consumer Product Safety Review Spring 2001

continued from page 7 A male, 2, was found unresponsive in the swimming pool at his home. A sliding door in the master bedroom that led to the pool was open. The cause of death was drowning. (Gregory A. Schmunk, M.D., Medical Examiner-County Coroner, Santa Clara County, San Jose, CA)

A female, 35, was found dead inside her bedroom after a fire. The room was equipped with a dead-bolt lock and had burglar bars on the window. The fire started when an electric space heater was placed too close to window curtains. The cause of death was smoke inhalation and thermal burns. (Jay Glass, Chief Deputy Coroner for Robert Brissie, M.D., Chief Medical Examiner/Coroner, Jefferson County, Birmingham, AL) *A male, 15 months, and his sister, 4, died as a result of a fire in the basement of their home. Their mother was using a lacquer cleaner to clean the basement floor when a gasoline engine used to run a water pump activated, and caused an explosion and a flash fire. The cause of death was thermal burns. (Marvin S. Platt, M.D., Medical Examiner, Summit County, Akron, OH)

FIRES A male, 62, was found in the bedroom of his home after a fire. A shorted electrical outlet caused a small fire that ignited a bed near the wall. The cause of death was smoke inhalation. (Bernard F. Jamison, M.D., Medical Examiner, Tidewater District, Norfolk, VA) A female, 53, and a male, 39, were found dead inside a house after a fire. An overloaded extension cord started the fire. The cause of death was soot and smoke inhalation and thermal burns. (Dolores Jones-Butler for Chase Blanchard, M.D., Medical Examiner, Philadelphia, PA) *A female, 83, was found dead inside her mobile home after a fire. The fire started when an extension cord melted, and caught a carpet on fire. An electric blanket had been plugged into the extension cord. The cause of death was smoke inhalation with thermal burns. (Jay Glass, Chief Deputy Coroner for Robert Brissie, M.D., Chief Medical Examiner/Coroner, Jefferson County, Birmingham, AL)

MISCELLANEOUS *A female, 8, and her brother, 4, were watching a videotape on a combination television/video cassette recorder (TV/VCR) in a bedroom of their home. The TV/VCR was located on a chest of drawers. The 8year old was fatally injured when she stood on the bottom drawer, reached upward to remove a videotape, and the TV/VCR fell on her. The cause of death was blunt-force trauma of the head. (Ted Bailey, Chief Forensic Investigator for Steven F. Dunton, M.D., Chief Medical Examiner, Gwinnett County, Lawrenceville, GA) — Denny Wierdak, Directorate for Epidemiology

Consumer Product Safety Review Spring 2001

Consumer Product Incident Report
Please contact us about any injury or death involving consumer products. Call us toll free at: 1-800-638-8095. Visit our website at Or, fill out the form below. Send it to: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission/EHDS, Washington, DC 20207 or fax it to: 1-800-809-0924. We may contact you for further details. Please provide as much information as possible. Thank you.
























This information is collected by authority of 15 U.S.C. 2054 and may be shared with product manufacturers, distributors, or retailers. No names or other personal information, however, will be disclosed without explicit permission.

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Washington, DC 20207


Consumer Product Safety Review Spring 2001

CPSC Recalls
The following product recalls were conducted by firms in cooperation with CPSC. For more information about recalls, visit CPSC’s website at Product: About 370,000 squirting fish bath toys by Sassy Inc. The squirting fish are in the Sassy Scoop Pour ‘N Squirt and Bath Time Pals bath toys. The Scoop Pour ‘N Squirt bath toy set has a large, colorful plastic fish-shaped scoop with a green textured handle and a spout for pouring water. This set comes with two small plastic squirting fish. The Bath Time Pals bath toy set comes with one squirting frog, two squirting pearls and two squirting fish. Mass merchandise stores and toy stores sold these toys nationwide from February 1999 to December 2000 for about $5. Problem: The fish’s size, texture, shape and easy compressibility make it possible for an infant to compress the toy and place it in his or her mouth. If the toy reaches the back of the mouth and expands, it may block the child’s airway. CPSC and Sassy are aware of one report of an infant who put the toy fish in his mouth, gagged and vomited, and two reports of infants who put the toy fish in their mouths and started to choke. What to do: Take these squirting fish from young children and throw them away. For additional information or to receive a replacement squirt toy, contact Sassy at (800) 764-8323 or visit its website at Product: About 80,000 scooters by Excite Ltd. The recall involves Excite Super Speeder II and Viper scooters. The scooter has a lightweight aluminum frame with black, foam handle grips. “Super Speeder II” or “Viper” is printed on the standing platform and on the steering column. The steering column also has “Excite” printed at the top. The scooter has 4-inch translucent in-line style wheels. Rite Aid stores nationwide exclusively sold the Super Speeder II and Viper scooters from August 2000 to December 2000 for about $49. Problem: The front of the folding mechanism, where the steering column meets the base of the scooter, can create a pinch-point. Fingers can be injured while folding or unfolding the scooter. Excite has received nine reports of pinch-point injuries to children including one partially amputated fingertip and eight lacerations, one of which required eight stitches. What to do: Stop using these Excite scooters immediately and contact Excite Ltd. to receive a free cap that will cover the front of the folding mechanism. For more information, call Excite Ltd. toll-free at (888) 571-3731 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. CT Monday through Friday. Product: About 1.7 million battery chargers by DEWALT Industrial Tool Co. The battery chargers are used with cordless power tools. The battery chargers included two models of DEWALT (DW9107, DW9108) and two models of Black & Decker Industry & Construction (97015, 97016) brands. The DEWALT battery chargers have model numbers DW9107 and DW9108, which is written on the front of the charger. The recalled DEWALT chargers have date codes from 9616 through 9752 located on the bottom of the charger. The DEWALT chargers are black with yellow lettering. “DEWALT” is written on the front of the chargers. The Black & Decker Industry & Construction battery chargers have model numbers 97015 and 97016. The model number is written on the front of the chargers. They have date codes from 9616 through 9752, which is located on the bottom of the chargers. The Black & Decker Industry & Construction chargers are black. “Black & Decker Industry and Construction” is written on the front of these chargers. Home center and hardware stores sold these battery chargers nationwide from May 1996 through August 2000 for between $50 and $60. During the same time, these chargers also were sold with some DEWALT and Black & Decker Industry & Construction cordless tools. Problem: The battery charger can fail to automatically shut off after the battery is fully charged, which can cause the battery to burst, and poses fire, burn and electrical shock hazards to consumers. DEWALT has received two reports of batteries bursting and consumers suffering injuries, including minor lacerations and a minor burn.

What to do: Stop using these battery chargers immediately, and take them to a DEWALT or Black & Decker service center for a free replacement. To locate the nearest service center, or for more information, call DEWALT toll-free at (866)-543-3401 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or go to DEWALT’s website at Product: Dishwashers by General Electric Appliances. General Electric Appliances Co. is offering a free repair option in the form of rewiring for its recalled GE and Hotpoint dishwashers. With the free rewire option, a GE-authorized technician will rewire the slide switch at no cost to consumers. This repair program supplements the original rebate program announced October 19, 1999. GE manufactured 3.1 million of these dishwashers between 1983 and 1989. The GE and Hotpoint dishwashers involved are models beginning with GSD500D, GSD500G. GSD540, HDA467, HDA477, or HDA487 with a serial number that has a second letter of A,M,R,S,T,V or Z (for example, BM12345). The model and serial numbers are located on a rectangular label that is on either the right or left front edge of the inner tub. The GE or Hotpoint brand name is on the front of the dishwasher. Previously, GE provided consumers with a rebate toward the purchase of a new dishwasher. The supplemental rewiring option is intended to increase the effectiveness of the original program. Problem: The dishwashers have a slide switch that can melt and ignite, presenting a fire hazard. CPSC is aware of approximately 90 incidents associated with these dishwashers. The slide switch allows consumers to choose between heated drying and “energy saver” functions. Over time, the slide switch can melt and ignite, presenting a fire hazard. In the free rewiring program, GE-authorized technicians will rewire the slide switch, eliminating it from the electrical circuit and thereby eliminating the fire risk. What to do: Discontinue use, unlatch the door, and contact GE at (800) 599-2929 anytime or at Both the CPSC and GE strongly urge consumers who have not replaced their recalled units under the original rebate program to contact GE right away to schedule a free rewiring or participate in the original rebate program. Until the dishwasher has been rewired, consumers should keep the dishwasher door unlatched at all times to prevent the flow of electrical current that creates a risk of fire. Product: About 170,000 Playskool Sesame Street Busy Poppin’ Pals toys. Playskool’s Sesame Street Busy Poppin’ Pals toy is a 13-inch long white plastic toy with blue, yellow and green buttons, levers and knobs of various shapes that, when activated, make Sesame Street characters pop up from under the toy’s base. The characters – Elmo, Ernie, Big Bird, Bert and Cookie Monster — are hidden under corresponding blue, yellow or green lids that have the numbers one through five imprinted on top. The toy has a white carry handle and features the Playskool and Sesame Street logos on the front. The model number, “5446”, “MADE IN CHINA” and “C-023B” are imprinted on the bottom of the toy. Mass merchandise stores and toy stores sold these toys (Playskool model 5446 made in China) nationwide from November 1994 through 1996 for about $10. Problem: Small springs inside these toys can break loose, posing a choking and laceration hazard to young children. Playskool has received eight reports relating to the springs in its Sesame Street Busy Poppin’ Pals toys, including one report that a child put the broken spring in his mouth. No injuries were reported. What to do: Take these toys away from young children immediately, and contact Playskool at (877) 518-9743 anytime or visit the firm’s website at to get information about how to receive a free, redesigned replacement toy. Product: About 600,000 infant jumpsuits by The William Carter Co. The recalled infant jumpsuits have a 6-inch long satin ribbon attached through the zipper pull tab. The ribbons are solid in color or have “Carter’s” printed on them. Recalled models are either 100 percent cotton interlock jumpsuits with a teddy bear, bunny or puppy embroidery design on the front; or cotton/polyester blend velour jumpsuits with a teddy bear or bunny embroidery design on the front. The jumpsuits were sold in sizes Small (0-3 months), Medium (3-6 months), and Large (6-9 months). Outlet, department and specialty


Consumer Product Safety Review Spring 2001

stores nationwide sold these jumpsuits from May 2000 through December 2000 for $14 to $20. Problem: A ribbon that runs through the zipper pull tab can detach, resulting in a potential choking hazard. Carter’s received four reports of children detaching the ribbons, putting them in their mouths, and starting to gag or choke. No injuries have been reported. What to do: Immediately remove and discard the ribbon. The garment then can be worn without the ribbon. For more information, consumers should call Carter’s toll-free at (888) 339-2129 anytime or visit its website at Product: About 6,400 miter saws by Black and Decker Inc. The recall involves only 12-inch Black & Decker Industry & Construction miter saws with model numbers 3660 TY1 and 3680 TY1. The model numbers are located on the nameplate on the top of the saw’s charcoal gray housing. The recalled miter saws have date codes from 9201 through 9340 stamped into the end cap or back of the saws. Home centers and hardware stores sold these miter saws nationwide from January 1992 through December 1993 for between $330 and $410. Problem: Bolts on the saws can loosen and the blade could detach, posing a risk of lacerations to consumers. Black & Decker has received seven reports of consumers with lacerations when the blades on these saws detached. What to do: Stop using these saws immediately, and call Black & Decker to receive a free replacement bolt to repair the saw. For more information or to order the repair kit, call Black & Decker toll-free at (888) 771-4540 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. ET Monday through Friday. Product: About 6,600 girl’s sweatshirts by Trends Clothing Corp. These navy blue Ocean Pacific girls’ long-sleeve hooded sweatshirts were sold in sizes 2T through 12 in pullover and zip-up front styles. “OP” is on the front of the sweatshirts and on a collar label. Also on a collar label is written either “Made in Pakistan” or “Made in Guatemala”. Upton’s , Lamont’s, Gottschalks, and Sports Authority stores nationwide sold these sweatshirts from August 1999 through October 1999 for about $30. Problem: These sweatshirts have hood drawstrings. Children can get entangled and strangle in the drawstrings that catch on objects, including playground equipment, fences and tree branches. Since 1985, CPSC knows of 16 deaths from neck/hood drawstrings. CPSC and Trends Clothing Corp. have not received any reports of injuries involving these sweatshirts. This recall is being conducted to prevent the possibility of injuries. What to do: Remove the drawstring from these garments immediately, or return them to the store where purchased for a refund. For more information, consumers should contact Trends Clothing Corp. at (800) 7-TRENDS (787-3637) between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday ET. Product: About 18,000 motocross motorcycles by Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. The 2001 KX series motocross vehicles, have model numbers KX65, KY85, KX100, KX125, KX250 and KX500. The name “Kawasaki” appears on each side of the frame near the steering column, and the model number appears on each side of the frame running from the rear tire to the braking system. The motorcycles are green, with white on the front of the steering column and on each side of the seat. Kawasaki dealers nationwide sold the motorcycles from May 2000 to November 2000 for between $2,800 and $5,800. Problem: The rear brakes on these motorcycles can fail, causing a rider to lose control of the vehicle and crash, resulting in injuries or death. CPSC and Kawasaki have not received any reports of injuries or failure of the rear braking system. This recall is being conducted to prevent the possibility of injuries. What to do: Stop using the motorcycles immediately. Kawasaki will mail owners a free repair kit. Owners can make the repair themselves or return their motorcycle to a Kawasaki dealership for a free repair. For more information, consumers should call their local dealership or Kawasaki at (866) 802-9381, between 8:30 a.m. and 4:45 p.m. PT Monday through Friday; or, go to the company’s website at

Product: About 860,000 highchairs by Graco Children’s Products Inc. The model and serial numbers of these Graco highchairs are located on a sticker beneath the seat. The model number contains “3170,” “36051” or “74001” within it. The first six numbers in the serial number indicate the date of manufacture. The recalled highchairs were manufactured from January 1, 1995 through December 8, 1997 (or from 010195 through 120897). The highchairs are made of a white plastic seat with white metal legs, and “Graco” is printed on the front of the tray. Mass merchandise, juvenile products and discount department stores nationwide sold these highchairs from January 1995 through June 1998 for between $30 and $35. Problem: The chair’s legs can come out, causing the chair to fall to the ground. Children can suffer serious injuries from the fall. Graco has received 108 reports of the highchair legs coming out of the seat, including 105 injuries. Injuries have included a mild concussion, two broken noses, six cuts requiring stitches, black eyes, and bumps and bruises. What to do: Stop using the highchairs immediately and call Graco at (800) 617-7447 anytime to receive a free repair kit. Additional information is available at under Customer Service/Recall Information. Consumers also can write to Customer Affairs, Graco Children’s Products, Inc., Box 100, Elverson, PA 19520. Product: More than 68,600 cribs by Simmons Juvenile Products. Most of the recalled Simmons cribs were made in 1998. Those sold at Sears were made in 1998, 1999 and 2000. Only “98” cribs of all models are recalled, except for Sears cribs. The bracket on all other Simmons cribs except for Sears changed to different type attachments after 1998. The cribs were sold under the name “Little Folks”. Simmons and the two-digit year of manufacture are written on a label affixed to the crib’s headboard. The year is the two-digit number following the model number. “Little Folks” is on another label affixed to the headboard. The cribs are constructed of maple or ash, and are painted or stained in more than a dozen different colors, including natural, golden and white. “Simmons” is written on the top rail. Discount, mass merchandise, juvenile product and department stores, including Sears, sold the cribs nationwide from January 1998 through December 2000 for between $200 and $600. Problem: Bracket hooks that are used to position the height of the mattress can break, causing the mattress to collapse. Babies can become trapped and suffocate when this happens. In the past four months, Simmons has received more than 800 reports of bracket hooks breaking. In one case, a 6-month-old hit his chin on the side rail when the mattress dropped. For Sears cribs (which are model numbers 025260 and 065060), the years “98” “99” and “00” are recalled because the problem bracket hooks were used all three years. What to do: Stop using these recalled cribs immediately and contact Simmons to receive free replacement brackets by overnight mail. Consumers can contact Simmons anytime at (800) 421-2951 or at Product: About 70,000 Barbie Sunglasses by IMT Accessories. The recalled sunglasses have a pink tint to the eyeglasses, have floating glitter in the temple of the sunglasses, say “Barbie” and “Mattel” on the left side of the earpiece, and say “China” on the right side. The sunglasses, manufactured under license with Mattel, were sold nationwide in Target, Walgreen’s and Bradlee’s, from June 1999 through August 2000 for about $6. Problem: The frames of the sunglasses can break, allowing petroleum distillate and floating glitter in the frames to leak out. Petroleum distillates could be harmful to children’s eyes and skin and could be fatal if ingested. IMT Accessories has received one report of a six-yearold child who received chemical burns in her right eye as a result of petroleum distillates leaking from the sunglasses when she was playing. What to do: Stop children from wearing the sunglasses immediately. Return the sunglasses to the store where purchased for a full refund. Consumers can call IMT Accessories toll-free at (800) 868-7870 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. EST Monday through Friday. — Carolyn Wellington, Office of Compliance


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